Wisdom When Hiring Wedding Musicians

                                                    Published by Jackson Living Magazine - February 2010 Wedding Issue


By:  Hailey Smith – Harpist for the King


This is your beautiful day.  Everything MUST be perfect.  Right?  Then in comes your musician – late, frenzied, and ruffled.  It seems that when you said your wedding was at the Botanical Garden, she thought that you meant the one in Atlanta . . . Until you called her wondering why she wasn’t there yet.


Tidbits of wisdom on selecting a wedding musician can go a long way toward your beautiful, “just as I planned,” wedding day.  In fact, many of these tips can, and should be, transferred to other services required for your most wonderful of all days.


  1. Choose your music based upon the tone of your wedding.  If you want a sophisticated, elegant wedding, choose a harpist or a string quartet.  If you want a fun, frolicy wedding, choose a DJ or a band.  If you want both, choose elegant for the ceremony and fun for the reception.
  2. Choose a professional if you want professional.  Relatives and friends may mean well, but they are often better served by attending the wedding.  That is, unless your friend is a gifted professional. 
  3. Get references or testimonials.  Make sure that your musician has actually played for weddings and other professional events.  Business cards are inexpensive and easy to obtain.
  4. Make sure that you hear and see your musician.  If tattoos don’t fit your idea of a wedding musician, this step will definitely help you to choose well.
  5. Outline your expectations for attire.  If your wedding has a medieval or civil war flair, don’t be afraid to ask.  Over the years, musicians acquire lots of different types of attire.
  6. Observe them carefully when you meet.  If your musician is unkempt during your audition, don’t be surprised if they show up at your wedding the same way.
  7. Talk about acoustics and environment.  Make sure the room is sufficiently set up for good acoustics.  If they aren’t, make sure that someone is providing a microphone.  Provide a safe environment for your musicians.  This may sound ridiculous, but, true story, one bride asked a fellow harpist to play on the diving board of a swimming pool!
  8. Outline specifics.  Don’t take any chances.  Make sure that the date, time, address, and duration of the event are clearly laid out.  Provide first and second phone numbers for your musician in case they need to reach you on the day of the event.  This is clearly a case of planning for the worst so that you can ensure the best case scenario.
  9. Take the time to select your music.  Some songs will be important to you – make your special requests known upfront.  Choose and outline the type of music that you want played to set the proper tone for your wedding.
  10. Solidify your agreement.  Most professional musicians will have a contract.  Get specific with them to ensure that all of your needs are met and that your questions are answered.  Think about the “what ifs” upfront and make sure that you both know how to handle situations.



Good planning, well in advance will help your day go just as you had dreamed!  Enjoy your most special day without a worry! 




Hailey Smith - Harpist for the King - (404) 405-3122